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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 15:19 GMT
Budding serial killer gets life
Mark Papazian
Papazian thought he had covered all his tracks
A man hooked on crime novels has been jailed for a minimum of 24 years after he admitted murdering his lover.

Mark Papazian, 50, hit Gerrard Hendra, 65, over the head with a claw hammer and slit his throat in Hampstead, north London, in June 2005.

The Old Bailey heard Papazian was obsessed with the works of Patricia Highsmith and PD James.

He had scoured nearby Hampstead Heath for gay men to kill in his quest to be a serial killer, the court heard.

'Ruthlessly planned'

Retired English teacher Mr Hendra was murdered at his flat in Pond Street, a month after starting a relationship with Papazian.

I have decided I want to do it, his time is up
Entry from Papazian's diary
Papazian had laid the body out in the shape of a cross and fled with Mr Hendra's collection of classical CDs.

The court heard Papazian kept a diary in which he recorded his progress towards becoming a serial killer.

"Always wanted to commit, or as I say, do a murder, ever since last summer, but lost my bottle and it's a bit depressing," read one entry.

Referring to Mr Hendra, Papazian wrote: "I lust after his CD collection. I have decided I want to do it, his time is up."

After the murder, he wrote he "had thought of everything" to do with the forensic examination of Mr Hendra's flat adding "I am a genius".

Judge Christopher Moss said the diaries made it clear the murder was "as premeditated as it can get, ruthlessly planned and remorsefully executed".

"I have no doubt, if you had not been apprehended, you would have carried out further murders," he added.

Irish-born former psychiatric nurse Papazian was told he would have to serve 24 years before he could be considered for parole.

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